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Politics Nation

News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the day's important political and human interest stories. New.

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Us 16, Washington 13, Krystal 5, America 5, Eric Cantor 4, Advair 4, Diahann Carroll 4, Paul Brown 3, Chris Christie 3, Dr. King 3, Florida 3, Dennis 2, Campbell 2, Jared Bernstein 2, Mitch Mcconnell 2, Abi 2, Molly Ball 2, Cantor 2, Julia 2, Carroll 2,
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  MSNBC    Politics Nation    News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the  
   day's important political and human interest stories. New.  

    February 5, 2013
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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let me finish tonight with this. voting in america should not be like chinese water torture. it should be available to any person willing to put in a reasonable effort to identify themselves, get themselves registered, and show up at election time. it's one of those areas where balance is the key factor. necessary to ensure the voters are who they say they are, make the process easy as possible and keeping it honest. don't throw hurdles in people's way. don't reduce the number of hours you can vote and create enough voting stations out there so we don't have lines stretching into the night. i believe what we saw in ohio in 2004 and what we saw last november in florida are examples of not meeting these standards. i do suspect that the people
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running those states at those times were not interested in making it fairly easy for a legitimate voter to get to the booth. consistent with the federal constitution, the government should do what it can to make voting a right not an obstacle course. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. thanks, chris. and thanks to you for tuning in. i'm live in los angeles. tonight's lead. fighting for fairness. president obama threw down the gauntlet to republicans today demanding they move quickly to stop devastating budget cuts that could damage the economy and throw hundreds of thousands of people out of work. these are automatic cuts the congress agreed to. and they're going to go into effect in three weeks unless lawmakers act now. the president is fighting the republicans cut, cut, cut obsession.
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>> we can't just cut our way to prosperity. deep cuts to things like education and training, energy and national security will cost us jobs. and it will slow down our recovery. it's not the right thing to do for the economy. it's not the right thing for folks out there still looking for work. our economy right now is headed in the right direction. and it will stay that way as long as there aren't any more self-inflicted wounds coming out of washington. >> this self-inflicted wound would include massive cuts to virtually every government program. from medicare and housing to head start and food aid for children. the president wants republicans to delay those cuts through a balanced approach that would force corporations and the wealthy to give up some of their special tax break. and pay their fair share.
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>> these modest reforms in our social insurance programs have to go hand in hand with tax reform. so the wealthiest individuals and corporations can't take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most americans. there is no reason that the jobs of thousands of americans who work in national security or education or clean energy, not to mention the growth of the economy should be put in jeopardy just because folks in congress couldn't come together to eliminate tax loopholes. >> these special interests loopholes include subsidies for the oil and gas companies. who are raking in record profits. deductions for corporate jets and yachts. and absurd tax breaks for hedge fund managers and wall street heavy hitters. fairness. it's what this election was all about. i mean, do we really want to be a country that lets millionaires write off their corporate jets but tells a single mom she can't
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get help buying a formula for her baby? that's not the america we all voted for on election day. joining me now is debbie wasserman shultz chair of the democratic national committee and jared bernstein. former chief economist to vice president biden. let me go to you congresswoman first. didn't the american people vote for the president's vision of a balanced approach to government, congresswoman? >> there's no question that they did, reverend al. the president laid out two paths and two visions. and mitt romney clearly laid out his own vision which was very divergent from the president's. and we had a debate whether we take a balanced approach to deficit reduction as you described. one that asks the wealthiest americans to pay a bit more while making sure we reduce spending and make responsible spending cuts without cutting the legs out from under the economy. and i'm sure mr. bernstein would
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agree that as the economist i heard when i was a member of the budget committee repeatedly say that you can't cut so much so fast because in a recovery that is already more fragile than we'd like to see, you want to make sure you don't slow or stall that recovery. that's what the republicans are risking. it's really -- you know, i wish and i know that americans across the country wish that there would just be a massive outbreak of responsibility in the republican conference so that we could bring them to the table, sit down, and work together to avoid massive spending cuts which they seem willing to allow to happen. >> a massive outbreak of responsibility. wouldn't that be a great occurrence? let me ask you, jared. you may agree, but senator mitch mcconnell clearly doesn't seem to agree. let me show you what he said today. he says every day spent talking about corporate jets is a day wasted. now, when you balance out, we're
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talking about talking about corporate jet writeoff so we don't have to tell single moms not to have food aid for children. that's a little out there, wouldn't you say so? >> let's make this concrete. the other one you mentioned earlier earlier. i did a little calculation i want to share with you this afternoon. if you take two people who earn the same amount of money and make it a decent amount of money, $250,000, so we're not comparing a rich person with a middle income person. these are two welloff people. one of them manages a software company. and the other manages a hedge fund. because the hedge fund manager gets to take this performance fee bonus, it's called. basically gets to have her earnings taxed at a rate of about 20% right now.
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her tax -- effective tax rate at the end of the day is about 13% while the tax rate of the software developer is 31%. now, that's simply not fair. >> wow. >> these are both people -- i mean, actually -- i was going to say these are both people contributing a lot to the economy. we can have an argument how much the hedge funds are contributing. that's a different argument. >> let me get this right. a hedge fund guy is doing less than half in percentage of a guy, middle class who may be doing his own business, own his own business and employing people. only because we give a loophole to the hedge fund guy because he's a hedge fund person. >> because we favor incomes from hedge funds and private equity firms. over paychecks. over earnings. we have one person who's paying a 33% stat tour rate.
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where you take out -- share of their income. 31% for the software developer. >> congresswoman, that is where the president is, close some of the loopholes and make this equal. we're not trying to put it all one way. but there's something that is just unfair about that kind of arrangement. >> really. i think that's absolutely right. what members of congress have to ask themselves, regardless of party is who were you elected to protect? were you elected to protect the hedge fund manager? were you elected to protect the ceo of a major corporation or the wealthiest people in your district? or were you elected to do what was best for the overwhelming majority of your constituents who are middle class working folks, small business owners who are dramatically effected by the uncertainty that the republicans
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are inflicting on this economy by continuing to leave the sequester dangling out there, the threat of government shutdown dangling out there. the bottom line is we have deficit reduction. $4 trillion worth that president obama's proposed within our grasp. all that it takes a reasonable people to sit down at the table together and everybody to say it's not going to be my way or the highway. we're ready to do that. >> i think -- look. what i've seen, unfortunately, is that too many republicans do seem like they have two goals. protect wealthy people from any increase in their taxes or closure of their loopholes -- >> no matter what. >> and at the same time to cut the heck out of government spending. now, typically they want -- now, typically they want to protect social security and medicare. so they start going after the poor. and that's where you have head start. that's where you have womens infants and children. that's the nutritional program. you're talking about protecting folks at the top at the expense
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of those at the very bottom. that is upside down when you think about what the people in the economy need. >> congresswoman, it brings me to a wall street journal article i want to ask you about along those lines. it says how republicans view the sequester cuts, the cuts i talked about at the opening as leverage. as leverage to attack social security and medicare. i'm quoting from the article. republican willingness to support the sequester, mr. boehner says, is as much leverage as we're going to get. boehner then says the whole discussion on the budget over the next several months is going to be about these entitlements. >> first they argue the debt ceiling was their leverage. then they realize politically that was problematic for them. now that we resolved that at least for now although we still have to deal with it down the road, you've got deficit reduction that they perceived to
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be their leverage through shutting the government down or allowing what both republicans and democrats agree is an unacceptbly large set of spending cuts in the sequester which were designed to incentivize us to sit down. we're not going to be able to deal with this by march 2nd. let's make sure we avoid those cuts. >> absolutely. >> so here's what i think we have to look out for. i was up on the hill testifying this morning, and i'm picking up the following. i think what republicans would like to do is actually cancel the defense part of the sequestration and shift those cuts on to the non-defense side. that must be avoided. look, first of all in my view all these cuts ought to be avoided the way the president was talking about today. but what i just described absolutely must be avoided because it puts all the pressure on the non-discretionary side
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which is where you have head start and the womans infant and childrens food program, housing subsidies. all the things we've been talking about throughout the segment here. >> it's also important to note what they're not talking about is we're not saying that we don't need reform or savings in our entitlement programs. we do. president obama has proposed $360 billion in savings in addition to the more than $700 billion in savings that added eight years of solvency to the affordable care act. we have those proposals on the table. we just don't want to do it the way the republicans do which is cut benefits to seniors particularly middle class seniors who can ill afford to endure those kinds of cuts and who don't have to. >> we're going to be watching this. we're three weeks away and this is extremely important to all americans. we're going to stay on this. congresswoman wasserman shultz, jared bernstein, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you. america, this is what losing
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looks like. president obama has eric cantor rebranding the gop again. but he kind of sounds like someone else i know. and one week from the state of the union we go inside the obama strategy to sell his agenda. plus there are lots of ways to make change. actress and activist diane carroll is one of them. the first black woman to star in her own primetime tv series joins me live. big show coming from los angeles. stay with us. ♪
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have you joined the "politicsnation" conversation on facebook yet? we hope you will. today many shared their thoughts on trayvon martin. today would have been his 18th birthday. cynthia says happy birthday, trayvon. a life taken too early. bonnie says my heart goes out to his family on this day. tony says may he and this nation's many victims of gun violence rest in peace. may the rest of us fight for return to neighborliness and sanity in the usa. i agree, tony. we'd like to have you share your thoughts with us too. please head over to facebook and search "politicsnation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends.
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hey, our salads. [ bop ] [ bop ] [ bop ] you can do that all you want, i don't like v8 juice. [ male announcer ] how about v8 v-fusion. a full serving of vegetables, a full serving of fruit. but what you taste is the fruit. so even you... could've had a v8. but what you taste all stations come over to mithis is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers. yeah. then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] ...safe driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands?
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eric cantor has a big idea and he wants to share it with you. the far right republican has been cooking up his big idea. and today he announced it to the whole wide world. are you ready? eric cantor wants to rebrand the republican party. that's right. rebrand. and in a speech today he pitched a kinder, gentler gop. >> our goal is to ensure that every american has a fair shot
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to earn success. >> a fair shot to success. i have to admit i like the sound of that. hmm. come to think of it, that sounds familiar. where have i heard that before? >> well, it starts by making sure that everyone in america gets a fair shot at success. >> a fair shot of success. of course. that's from the president's famous speech on economic fairness given in kansas back in 2011. it was a speech that defined his campaign for re-election and his fight for the middle class. mr. cantor must have taped that speech. because today hit the same points using the same language again and again. >> that's why immigrants from around the world historically have flocked to our shores. >> that hope led generations of
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immigrants to risk everything to come to our shores. >> the world is shifting to an innovation economy, and nobody does innovation better than america. no one has better colleges or universities. >> a good education leads to more innovation. and throughout our history, american colleges and universities have served as a corner stone for the world's innovation. >> we should be giving people the chance to get new skills and training. >> as job markets are changing, more skills, training, and education are needed. >> imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery. but here's the catch. the rhetoric might have changed, but the philosophy, not so much. on key policies that effect real people, the gop is stuck and
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allergic to change. cantor says quote, it's having a conversation on different terms. well, if that's all it is, then i'm afraid we're still not speaking the same language. joining me now is krystal ball and abi huntsman. thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> thanks. >> thank you. >> krystal, congressman cantor endorsed a path to citizenship today. but he's still against compromising on taxes and he still wants to gut entitlements. so is this change you can believe in? >> and we should point out, too, that he talked about pathway to citizenship just for the children of immigrants who came here who are undocumented. something that he voted against, by the way, in the dream act. you're absolutely right. basically what eric cantor did, is he hit on all the least controversial aspects of the republican party platform. things like education. things like flexible working hours, closing loopholes.
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things there's broad agreement on that democrats would agree with. that you pointed out the president would support and has talked about before. they want to sort of talk about those things and just sweep the rest of it under the rug. let's not talk about where we stand on entitlements. let's not talk about our social policies. let's just focus on these small pieces that everyone can agree on. >> now, abi, he also -- congressman cantor made a direct appeal to working class families and working moms. particularly working moms. listen to this. >> try explaining that rising health care costs are depressing take-home pay and saying that it's justified. that's little consolation to the working mom. because her grocery bills are still higher. her kids still need -- have needs that are getting more expensive. the rent is up. and now she's just trying to get by. i think b all of us know getting by is not the american dream.
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>> abi, help me out. why their sudden appeal to working moms? >> he's smart. he knows that the way to the woman's heart is to speak to moms just like he's doing. but let's be honest here, this speech was more about eric cantor than it was about the republican party than it was about the american people. i think eric cantor if you take a step back, is wanting to be seen as someone as pragmatic especially after a few weeks ago he voted against the bill that would have averted us to the fiscal cliff. and so i think in his mind if you take a step back and look at the inner politics of the house gop, he wants to gain more power in the house and will likely run for the speaker in a couple of years and sees i cannot actually win and be speaker as someone that is not pragmatic. as someone that is more rigid. i think you see a paul ryan who's wanting to do the same
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thing. this speech was more about him. it was a lot more political. and i think that's unfortunate. he was very vague in a lot of the things that he talked about. but as it relates to the speech, look, i commend him as a republican. he's talking about things that need to be talked about. he's talking a lot of common sense, but there are no specifics. where's the boldness? >> how do we get there? and at the same time what was interesting to me is you have pretty radical republicans pushing to run for the senate while this is all going on. you have paul brown looking to run for a senate seat in georgia. he calls evolution a big bang theory. less straight from the pit of hell. he suggested the president abides by the soviet constitution. democrats are hoping he runs. they're thinking they could really take georgia. i mean, you got all of this going on at the same time you
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have cantor trying to at least give the rhetoric of being more reasonable when he really -- the devil's in the details. we're not hearing the details, krystal. >> and we're seeing this group sponsored by karl rove trying to come out to support more mainstream candidates against people like paul brown. but you can't spend four years where your only ideology is calling the president is socialist trying to convince the american people that he wants to take down the country with his socialist rhetoric and kill babies and take our guns. then the country didn't believe it, but their base bought into a lot of that. you can't spend four years doing that then turn around and say we don't want these candidates who's reflecting the ideology we have been promoting. they were happy to ride that wave when it was good for them in 2010 when there was a tea party wave and it brought them to power in the house. now we're seeing the backlash and those choices are creating a problem for them in the senate.
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they could have potentially taken the senate if they hadn't had candidates like todd akin, christine o'donnell. that's going to be the real fight for this year. are they going to continue nominating unelectable out there candidates or are they going to come back to a mainstream party? >> well, paul brown who thinks evolution and embryology has put them in the pit pun intended in the political pit here. >> this is just crazy talk. i don't think that as a brand that's going to be successful. i don't think it's a brand that will win. we've seen polling and where the mood of the country is. a lot of the party recognizes we need to move in a different direction. that wasn't successful this last go around. and we talked earlier about the lack of details, lack of specifics. and this bringing a good debate for the american people is going to require some ideas from both
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sides of the aisle. and right now the republican party is not bringing a lot of the ideas to the table. that's the problem. eric cantor has the microphone. we have few leadership -- very few leaders right now in the party. i think they have an ability to really talk about things in more detail. and i hope that we see more of that. >> now, the problem that we're having in terms of not seeing details, krystal, may be that if they give details, the republicans will start fighting among themselves. we saw karl rove come out. he's talking about raising money to bring more moderate republicans out. the problem is it will intensify a civil war at least in terms of policy as we hear more and more details. >> that's exactly right. and we're already sort of seeing that play out with the immigration debate. you know, it all sounds good to say okay we have to solve the problem and to spell out broad principles. but when you actually get down to what are we going to do about the people that are here.
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how are we going to come up with a path to citizenship that makes sense and is fair and respects the fact that we are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws when you get down to the specifics there's a huge split in the party. >> where we find the common ground. abby, you quoted your father as saying compromise is krital to fixing the gop. the quote was in my party compromise cannot be seen as analogous to treason. which it has been seen recently. your daddy was right. i love quoting your daddy to you. i want somebody to do that to my daughters develop ahead. >> it's compromise but it's also taking some sort of elite on these issues. i think the republicans could actually lead on things such as immigration. i'd like to see that. like let's bring something to the table. we don't need to wait for president obama which he will probably talk about. but republicans, surprise us. do something that's unexpected. you know? take a lead on something like immigration.
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why not? i think that's what they need. >> i think that is what they need. and compromise is not analogous to treason. thanks for your time this evening. and don't forget to catch krystal on "the cycle" week days at 3:00 p.m. right here on msnbc. coming up, president obama's massive agenda. he's charging ahead. and tonight signs they're cracking in congress. plus chris christie pays a visit to david letterman. why all republicans should watch it. stay with us. ♪ great, everybody made it.
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we all work remotely so this is a big deal, our first full team gathering! i wanted to call on a few people. ashley, ashley marshall... here. since we're often all on the move, ashley suggested we use fedex office to hold packages for us. great job. [ applause ] thank you. and on a protocol note, i'd like to talk to tim hill about his tendency to use all caps in emails. [ shouting ] oh i'm sorry guys. ah sometimes the caps lock gets stuck on my keyboard.
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republicans claim they want their party to change, but when it comes to voting rights, they're going back to their old playbook. today "the new york times" reports that long lines at the
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polls especially in red states cost hundreds of thousands of votes in november. on average, blacks and hispanics had to wait twice as long as whites to cast their ballots. in the state of florida, the longest voting lines in the country were too much to bear for some voters. 200,000 voters in florida say they gave up in frustration and didn't cast their ballots. but republicans are still at it. today in virginia the republican-controlled house of representatives passed a bill limiting voter i.d.s allowed at the polls. this is outrageous. but democrats are fighting back. already democratic lawmakers have introduced bills to protect the ability of individuals to exercise the right to vote in elections. the fight is on. republicans lost in 2012, and they'll lose again this year. did they think we wouldn't notice they're back to their old tricks? nice try, but we got you.
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we're exactly one week away from president obama's state of the union speech. he'll use the bully pulpit to push his vision for the country and continuing selling his second term agenda. already he met with labor and business leaders on the economy in washington. he spoke about gun safety in minnesota. he delivered a major immigration speech in las vegas. and the fight for fairness is headed straight to main street. the obama administration today announcing they're going after some of the people allegedly involved in the 2007 financial meltdown. sounds like a lot to do all at once, right? yes. and it's part of the strategy. it's what nbc's first read calls flooding the zone. pushing many issues so the gop can't come together and oppose any single one. and there are already hopeful
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signs this president is going to get some important progress on key issues. joining me now is james peterson and molly ball. thanks to both of you for your time. >> good to be here. >> thanks. >> molly, you recently wrote about the washington gridlock. the headline reads "is washington getting less dysfunctional?" and i'm quoting from the article. from immigration reform to the debt ceiling, there are rampant signs the capitol isn't the gridlocked mess to which we've become accustomed. is there really a light at the end of the tunnel? i mean, how is this shifting? >> well, the jury's still out. when i wrote that piece i had a lot of people say you're going to jinx it. don't tell anyone. things are working around here. i think we've gotten so used to this state of affair where is nothing works and everything is a crisis that it's actually news when, you know, we don't go over the fiscal cliff, we don't hit
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the debt ceiling, there's progress, there's bipartisan progress on immigration reform that looks very promising. on a whole lot of different fronts the potential confrontation over the filibuster was defused. not everyone was happy with it, but that could have been a toxic fight and it was avoided. as you say, there's a lot of issue still on the president's agenda. a lot of battles still to be had, but for now there's actually promising signs for washington to get things done. >> james, we have the sequester still there. yet as i read molly's article, what do you think? is there light at the oend end of the tunnel is that sunshine or is the train coming? >> let's pray for sunshine. i like the strategy. i like the front end of it which is to sort of flood the zone with all of these important things including things like debt reduction with more tax revenue, clean energy where
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we're going to see progressives challenging the president on his policy there, new gun control all the way down to addressing the needs of the poor. it's an interesting strategy, but it requires an outside/in processing of policy. hopefully the progressive voices of americans to apply pressure on washington. that's how things get done. look at gun control and comprehensive immigration reform. those policy issues are being pressured by outside folks saying we've got to have change. we've got to have representative government in terms of issues. we've got to address gun violence and murders across the in addition. it's helping to galvanize people to apply the outside pressure that i think is weakening the gridlock in washington, d.c. >> the fact the president's approval ratings are so high. 60% favorable opinion that
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people have -- 60% of people say they have a favorable opinion of the president. that includes 60% of independents and 68% of self-identified moderates. so when you're facing a president with those kind of favorable numbers, that does kind of change how you might want to operate. wouldn't you say? >> well, i think it depends who we're talking about. you know, most members of the house, republicans and democrats alike, but certainly those republicans in the majority are in safe districts. they are not in districts where the president has a high approval rating. i think it's a really open question. whether the president can successfully deploy this outside/in strategy, whether he can mobilize supporters to put political pressure even on those members of congress who don't feel like they owe him anything or are in any political danger. then there's the question of whether he can spread his political capital too thin. i think you're right to point out he's trying to sort of present a moving target so he
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can't get too attacked for any one thing, but that also means there's a danger that he's not putting all of his political capital into one thing and it gets sort of diffused. >> the president, james, has said that after the state of the union he's going on the road. how will that impact and effect things and keep things moving? especially with this flood zone strategy. >> his political opponents will refer to him as being in campaign mode. but in actuality we need the president's charisma and vocalization of these issues out there to help galvanize those folks outside of washington to help. when you look at the flooding the zone strategy, there's a litany of issues. people who have been critical of the president and to the left of the president should see some light at the end of the tunnel for these issues. it requires folk to come out and have their voices heard. what they're going to refer to
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as him campaigning is him getting out trying to galvanize progressives to show the political will of the american people to get some of these things done. again, when you look at the list, gun control, immigration reform, clean energy, these are the issues that i think people in the democratic party and people to the left of the president are interested in getting done in this second term. >> you know, president obama had re-nominated richard caudray to head the bureau. now 43 senate republicans led by mitch mcconnell are voting to block him. this is the bureau to protect average americans and give them an advocate in washington. republicans are trying to weaken that protection, molly. is that a sign that we still have some gridlock, some dysfunction that they're going to fight on some things that should be a given? >> absolutely. i mean, this is washington. it's not all flowers and sunshine. people aren't suddenly kissing
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and making up. there's still going to be partisan fights. there's still going to be a lot of bickering. the question is just can that be productive? can all of those fights lead to things getting worked out to the end? compromise doesn't have to be pretty in order to be functional. and i think if you talk about something like a nomination fight. that's a pretty inside washington sort of thing. that's something the president would probably have a hard time galvanizing people on the outside to, you know, call their representatives about. so whether he can make progress on those kinds of things by deploying this more campaign-type strategy i think is more doubtful. >> james peterson and molly ball, thanks for your time. >> thanks, rev. ahead, first it was working with president obama. now it's a visit to letterman. what could the gop learn from chris christie? and a groundbreaker on tv and in the real world.
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the great actress and activist diahann carroll joins me live. stay with us. many of my patients still clean their dentures with toothpaste. but they have to use special care in keeping the denture clean. dentures are very different to real teeth. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores where bacteria can multiply. polident is designed to clean dentures daily. its unique micro-clean formula kills 99.99% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains, cleaning in a better way than brushing with toothpaste. that's why i recommend using polident. [ male announcer ] polident. cleaner, fresher, brighter every day.
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in 1968, singer/actress diahann carroll made history when she became the first black woman to star in her own tv series "julia" on nbc. the show made a historic mark on television. she played a nurse, the first african-american woman to star as a white collar professional. audiences were hooked. "julia" shot into the top ten soon after its debut ahead of shows like "mission impossible" and the "carol burnett show." it gave carroll nationwide exposure. she became a role model for many young blacks. the glamorous star some hadn't seen before. she'd already been a star for civil rights appearing with
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others on the march on washington and rubbing elbows with prominent politicians of the time like john kennedy. her career has spanned more than six decades, and she's not done yet. today diahann carroll stars in the usa network drama "white collar" playing, of course, another glamorous role. the widow june ellington. joining me now actor/entertainer/activist, diahann carroll. it's an honor to have you on the show tonight. >> thank you. i'm delighted to be with you. i've seen you on the air and we've known each other for a very long time. >> yes, we have. >> it's always been good. so i'm happy to be with yous. >> glad to be with you. let me -- before i get to what you're doing now, let me go back to 1968 with "julia" which was
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ground breaking. at the time did you understand how important that was when you stepped into that role as the first african-american woman primetime show like that, top ten? >> i really didn't, to be honest with you. when i heard all the accolades that came along with the part, i was thrilled about that. and also thrilled to have the chance to do it because it was written by a very talented man. but, no, i didn't think of it. i think perhaps the creator did. but later i became aware of the fact that it had made quite a statement. it made me very proud too. >> what does it mean to you now? >> it means that when i look back and all those events i cannot attend anymore and i see the film clips, it gives my heart a smile. i'm very pleased that i did it. you know this, when you look back on something and feel you did it very well or just better than you had hoped, it makes you feel good. >> now, you and i spoke at the
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memorial dedication for martin luther king's memorial in washington. and you actually knew dr. king. let me show you some of your comments you made that day in 2011 at the dedication. and i want you to elaborate for me on dr. king and how you knew him and what impression he made upon you. >> okay. it's a deal. >> i was really struck by what a quiet man he was. he always seemed quiet, but the first time i heard him speak, suddenly it was as if he was breathing a fire of hope all over all of us. and in all of us who needed desperately a man like dr. king to turn our hopes and dreams into action. >> turned our hopes and dreams
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into action. what were your personal impressions of dr. king, miss carroll? >> about a hundred years ago i was doing a radio show in brooklyn by an interesting activist who's no longer with us. and i realized that i was sitting across the aisle from dr. king. and i had to say hello and tell him that i -- it's the first time i'd ever been in the presence of a man or a woman who knew that they might be putting their life on the line. they might leave their families. they might lose their whole concept of what they have now. and it might be over. and how did he feel about that? how did he make that decision? he was very quiet. and he said that he made that decision with his family. that when he decided to do something that he knew was outside of the circle, he talked to all of them about it. they talked together about it. and that as much as they are
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prepared as much as they could be. it was amazing to hear someone say that about their life. >> wow. that's startling. tell me about the -- your project you're in now. "white collar." >> well, it's a fun thing. i'm very happy to have been called. so many feel i'm actually retired, and i'm out here tonight, reverend, trying to kill that rumor. but i love doing it. once again, i was attracted to the writing. and then such a beautiful young cast. and i definitely have -- i like to be part of things that have to do with new people, i mean young people. they are new. but it helps me. it helps me to understand what i'm living through, what we're all living through. so i'm happy to be there. >> are we going to see a lot more of you on "white collar"? >> i want you to write a letter to jeff easton and tell him you
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asked me that question. >> it's a deal. it's an honor to ahave you here. i grew up watching "julia." all of us wanted to get sick and go to the hospital if julia was going to be our nurse. i had a crush for a long time. >> thank you. >> "white collar" airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern time on usa. coming up, chris christie, david letterman, doughnuts, and a lesson to be learned. that's next. [ kitt ] you know what's impressive?
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tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. if you're still having difficulty breathing, ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com. i have some advice for all those republicans trying to rebrand their party. watch chris christie. last night the new jersey governor paid a visit to letterman, and he was ready for some fun. >> i've made jokes about you not o